Friday, June 13, 2008

Enjoy Free Fishing This Weekend!

Encouraging British Columbians to enjoy a healthy activity in the great outdoors is behind a plan that allows anglers to cast a line in the province’s lakes and streams without the need to purchase a fishing licence, Environment Minister Barry Penner announced today.

B.C.’s annual Family Fishing Weekend, June 13-15, is an opportunity for families to enjoy the sport of fishing in the province’s lakes and non-tidal streams with a three-day licence, compliments of the B.C. government.

“Family Fishing Weekend celebrates an incredible sport, fish, their habitat and the great outdoor beauty of the province,” said Penner. “The B.C. government wants to increase the number of freshwater anglers, and Family Fishing Weekend is a great way to introduce newcomers to the sport.”

B.C. offers some of the finest fishing opportunities in the world, and Family Fishing Weekend, now in its ninth year, has introduced many people to sport angling. The B.C. government supports the Family Fishing Society of BC with $25,000 each year to hold events, with additional funding provided by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. The Family Fishing Society, in turn, provides funding, materials and guidance to the community co-ordinators who put on events every year. Sport anglers contribute nearly $1.2 billion annually to the province’s economy.

Throughout British Columbia, many communities will be holding events where people can learn the rules of fishing and see what’s being done to preserve, enhance and create fish habitat. Prizes will be offered at all events.

“The purpose of the Family Fishing Society is to encourage all British Columbians, particularly kids and families, to take up recreational angling as a pastime and to enjoy B.C.’s world-class sport fishing opportunities,” said Owen Bird, executive director of the Family Fishing Society of BC. “The annual contribution from the Province has assisted in the creation of more and more Family Fishing Weekend events during its existence. The feedback is that year after year, these community events are eagerly anticipated throughout the province.”

Those interested in trying their luck fishing in tidal waters are reminded that there is no charge for a saltwater sport fishing licence for those under 16, and one-day licences are available for resident adults at a cost of only $5.51.

For more details and a list of communities where events are being held, visit www.bcfamilyfishing.com online.

Visit the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC online at www.gofishbc.com for more information about fishing opportunities in B.C.

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